Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Accountability April - Week 3 - Happy Earth Day

One more week of April behind us, and what have I got to show for? Am I being Accountable for the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the month?

EH…sort of.

This last week, I have to admit, I barely touched the NaNo Novel once again. I got a boost of inspiration last week, but it left as soon as it came, and since I wrote those few thousand words, I was again blocked. Not sure where to take my characters, how to further develop the story. I can’t seem to focus on it for too long before I get completely distracted or disenchanted. I’m missing something vital in the story, and I can’t seem to pinpoint what it is. Worry not, I have not given up, I’m just giving it a bit of space to grow on its own. It’ll come to me, I’m sure of it.

In the meantime, although the novel writing isn’t progressing quite as well as I’d like, I seem to have gotten inspired in other areas of my writing. I have quite a few blog posts in the works, and seem to be inspired to dedicating a bit more time to my content here, because, let’s be honest, it’s been severely lacking recently. It was one of my goals to work on the blog a bit more in April, so I’m claiming one for the plus column here.

Also in the plus column is my ongoing cleaning/decluttering project at home. This past weekend I spent a GOOD deal of time going through my wardrobe, doing the winter/summer change-over and donating some of the stuff that no longer fits me now that I lost weight.

And then there is the Green Part of my accountability. With today being Earth Day and all, it only seems appropriate that we discuss my other ongoing project to lessen my carbon footprint. I’ve mentioned in here before that I’ve only recently become a little “greener”. I haven’t necessarily been the most environmentally friendly person in the past, and I could give you all sorts of excuses and reasons behind that, but the truth is, I just didn’t know any better. It was likely out of being partly lazy, partly ignorant, and partly disinterested. I’m just being honest here, I didn’t look at the big picture, didn’t see how I PERSONALLY could make a difference.

In my defense, I wasn’t exactly focused on even taking care of myself, so is it any wonder I wasn’t worried about taking care of the environment around me? Right.

But, as you all know, over the last year I have been working on bettering myself. Losing weight, working out, eating healthier, feeding myself spiritually as well, surrounding myself with the kinds of people who make a positive impact on the world, have all been a part of my personal growth the past year or so. With that came a deeper awareness of my place in the world, and in turn, my responsibility to change some of my habits.

I’ve taken baby steps, and started with the basics I should have been doing all along.

Recycling. No, I didn’t even recycle before. Now I have three separate waste bins at home. Trash, paper, plastic. (I don’t drink soda or beer, so no need for can recycling). Such a small step, such an easy thing, but it’s felt really good to make that small change.

Re-usable shopping bags. I’ve found the double benefit of switching to cloth grocery shopping bags. I’m reducing the number of plastics bags I use, thereby helping the environment. This is obviously the main purpose for doing it, and I’m happy to be doing it. But here’s the added bonus. All my groceries, which used to fill 10 to 15 plastic bags (what a waste, when the bagboy would put one single item in a bag, and I in turn, would then place that plastic bag inside one of the other bags), used to take me two to three trips to carry into my condo. Frustrating, annoying, irritating, making grocery shopping my most loathed chore. Now? THREE, count them…One, Two, Three…cloth bags fit all of my groceries, ONE trip in the house, all is done. NICE.

Lights. I have started to very slowly replace all my light bulbs with those energy efficient bulbs. Slowly, as they die out, I replace the regular bulbs with the energy efficient counterparts. This is a work in progress, but it is taking place.

And finally, just this week, I went out and bought myself a PUR Water filtration dispenser. This was a huge move I’ve been wanting to take for quite a while now because although I was now recycling my water bottles, it still felt like such a waste each time I would empty the 20 or 30 bottles into the recycling bin. Financially, it won’t cost me more to buy new filters every few months. I was easily spending an average of $15/month on water, and that number was sure to grow with the coming summer months. It will likely cost me an average of $7 every two months for the filters…possibly more in the summer months, likely less, who knows, with an upfront cost of $30 for the container. In the long run, I will likely save money. I will have to invest in a few good quality, BPA free re-usable sports bottles for the gym. Over-all, however, I think I will save money, and I’ll be reducing my waste. I feel good about that. I will likely miss some of the convenience of just grabbing a water bottle out of the fridge whenever I’m thirsty, when I’m heading out the door, in a rush…but I’m willing to make that sacrifice. I’m willing to be more accountable.

There are many many other ways I can reduce my carbon footprint, and I’m working on it. Slowly, but surely, I’m working on it.

But that’s it…that’s my Accountability April/Earth Day post for this week.

How are you doing on your goals? One week to go, don’t despair, you still have time to DO SOMETHING, anything. Get to it! ;-)


jill said...

you can always have a few bottles on hand and refill them from the pur (we have had a faucet mount pur and just refilled bottles from there)..we currently have an under sink filter (got it on sale for $15, I think), which makes the water here taste about like fresh bottled, ie nothing, and refill bottles until they start to make the water taste funny. it takes a LONG time, so you could fill a 6 pack of bottles time and time again and then recycle them when they started to taste bad. just a thought. we currently cant use any recycling because there's nothing around here, we can take our walmart type bags in and recycle them, but that's it. oh and WHERE do you get your 'green' bags? we are highly considering this. which ones are the sturdiest? the most roomy, we have to buy a gallon milk, for instance, will that fit in a bag or is that for a hand only?

jill said...